European Union policy issues


The Bar Council’s Brussels office has been the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the Bar in its relations with the EU institutions since 1999. The office tracks and seeks to influence where necessary,  EU policy developments that both may have an impact on the way that law is practiced, and the substance of said law, in England & Wales. 

Over the past 20 years, as the scope of EU law itself has expanded, so the focus of the Brussels Office’s activities has extended beyond traditional EU law fields such as competition, employment law and professional regulation, to also include consumer law, criminal, family, financial services, company, fundamental rights, rule of law, data protection, environment, intellectual property, immigration and more recently, future-focused challenges like those posed by artificial intelligence, to name but a few. 

With Brexit looming, it is arguably more important than ever that bodies such as the Bar Council remain positively engaged with the EU institutions and with other stakeholders to try to influence the content of EU law developments such as those foreseen below. 

The Bar Council's Brussels office continues to be very involved in the development of the Bar’s Brexit strategy and its policy objectives for the future EU-UK relationship, in particular as regards preserving access to justice through future judicial cooperation and continuing mutual market access for legal services in support of same. The office plays an active role in pursuing and promoting these objectives with the EU institutions and with other Brussels-based bodies.